No pictures please

Since I use this blog as a bit of a per­sonal jour­nal, to remem­ber dates and hap­pen­ings, I should duti­fully note that last night was the time four year old Theo pushed two year old Fran­cis off the foot­stool while brush­ing teeth, caus­ing said Fran­cis to fall pre­cip­i­tously against the bath­tub and open a nasty gash in his chin. Three hours and a Martin/Francis emer­gency room visit later there were four stitches in the poor guy’s chin. I’ll spare you all a descrip­tion of the ini­tial mess or the dif­fi­culty of hold­ing down a scream­ing child while the doc­tor tries to put the stitches in. Every­thing is fine now. And no, no pho­tos or Youtube videos of the pro­ceed­ings. Maybe I’ll snap a pic­ture of the stitches so Fran­cis can see just where that scar came from!

An Autumnal Halloween

Butterfly Genus Theodorableus Butterfly Genus Francis Captured butterflies

The Bat­sto Vil­lage Hal­loween party wasn’t quite so much fun this year: their web­site didn’t men­tion that most activ­i­ties ended part-way through the after­noon so that the orga­niz­ers could sit in front of the old houses giv­ing out candy. We arrived on the late side so no face paint­ing or pony rides for the boys but­ter­flies. We still had fun in the first really autumn day of the sea­son and Bat­sto was look­ing more bucolic than ever. More pic­tures (includ­ing some of the cool gear­ing in the old Bat­sto grist­mill) over on yesterday’s Flickr page.

Right: rare video footage of a Genus Fran­cis­cus But­ter­fly in migration.

Butterfly Love

Butterfly Love
The town parade was post­poned by rain again last night but as the but­ter­fly boys were all dressed up we ducked into our favorite pizza shop for some moz­zarella sticks and a slice of bruchetta-topped tomato pie. We got out with­out inflict­ing any major struc­tural dam­age or phys­i­cal injury, though Theo was only a twist or two away from destroy­ing one of their neon signs. Rumor has it that the parade will hap­pen next Tues­day though if the weather coop­er­ates we should have pic­tures of the Bat­sto Vil­lage hal­loween before that (last year’s pics).

(Still work­ing on get­ting com­ments and Twit­ter to show up properly.)

Railroad & farm weekend in Lancaster

Our only full-group shot, outside Strasburg RR
This week­end we took off for a fam­ily trip to Lan­caster County, Pennsylvania–Julie and me, the kids and my mother Liz. I won’t have time to do a long blog post, but high­lights were the Ver­dant View farm B&B (link) where we stayed; the Stras­burg Rail­road (link) whose line runs through the farm’s back­yard, the Choo Barn model rail­way (link); and the amaz­ing Cherry Crest Farm (link) with its corn maze and its sim­ple games for kids of all ages (who knew you could have so much fun with a hill and a piece of burlap?!).

See the See the photo set on Flickr for more pic­tures and sto­ries. Every shot is mapped, with links.

Large photo: Fam­ily at Stras­burg RR: Mar­tin, Liz, Theo, Julie, Fran­cis. Below: Julie and the kids walk­ing through fields at farm, Fran­cis play­ing kung-fu with the farm dog, Theo run­ning in ter­ror from said dog, Engine 90 ready to pull out.
Verdant View's verdant views
Verdant View Farm dogs
Verdant View Farm dogs

The ascent of Apple Pie Hill

Yes­ter­day the kids and I took a road trip to Apple Pie Hill, a sum­mit of loose gravel that tow­ers over the South Jer­sey pinelands from a dizzy­ing height of 209 feet above sea level. A fire watch tower on the sum­mit adds another few dozen feet, enough to get a vis­i­tor over the tree­tops. On a clear day it’s said you can see the sky­lines of Atlantic City and Philadel­phia. For­tu­nately for me it was an quin­tes­sen­tially beau­ti­fully fall day–clear and crisp. It was easy to spot the cities, both thirty-two miles away (mostly to the south and mostly to the west respec­tively) and here’s blowups of the two resul­tant pho­tos:
Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill
Sand road to Apple Pie Hill Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill
More pic­tures, from left: Sand road to the hill, the fire tower, the view down through the steps of the tower (the kids were left in the car), two year old Fran­cis eager but thwarted attempt to repeat Papa’s climb up tower. Click indi­vid­ual pho­tos for enlarged and geo­t­agged ver­sions. More pho­tos of this and out stopover at Atsion later in the day on yesterday’s Flickr page.

For those inter­ested in repeat­ing our jour­ney, here’s a map show­ing our route up and back. I was mostly wing­ing it, depend­ing on these direc­tions from NJPines​land​sand​Down​Jer​sey​.com start­ing from nearby Chatsworth NJ, self-styled “Cap­i­tal of the Pine Barrens.”

Other map views: View Larger Map | Satel­lite with Route Map

Scenes from a birthdays party: Theo (4) & Francis (2)

Scenes from a birthdays party: Theo (4) & Francis (2)

Pho­tos clock­wise: Theo blows out the birth­day ice cream cake’s “4” can­dle; kids hud­dle around when box opens to reveal Thomas the Tank Engine related toy; inde­pen­dent Fran­cis sur­veys the scene; cousin M. plays pat­ty­cake with Pop­pop while her mom looks on.

Scenes from a birthdays party: Theo (4) & Francis (2)
Scenes from birthdays party

Pictures from Birthdays Party

Yummy eats en route to Ohio

Yummy eats en route to Ohio
More back blog­ging from our Ohio trip, this photo from a vegan eatery a few miles off a rural Penn­syl­va­nia turn­pike exit. Prices were steep and the home­made non-dairy ice cream serv­ings small but we ate every­thing from our plates.

Photo: Vegan food & messy boy at Maggie’s Mer­can­tile off exit 91 of the Penna Turn­pike, an hour or so east of Pitts­burgh. Enlarged photo.